2 new Guardians of the Galaxy pics are best look yet at Michael Rooker's alien Yondu

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Jul 10, 2014, 10:18 AM EDT (Updated)

Thought we haven’t seen much of him in the trailers up until this point, a fan-favorite Walking Dead star is set to break bad in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy as the alien Yondu. It’s a far cry from a zombie-slashing redneck.

Michael Rooker, who starred in AMC’s undead hit as Merle Dixon, is playing the blue, mohawked alien Yondu in the deep-space sci-fi epic. USA Today has an interview with Rooker about the role, along with two new pics that finally reveal his full makeup and costume. Rooker noted that this version of Yondu “has some interesting issues” and is “not a good guy, not a bad guy.”

For fans of the comic, the pics and character description from Rooker shows some major differences. For one, they’ve thankfully updated the costume to replace the loincloth and freakishly huge mohawk for an understated coif and leather jacket. But apparently his trademark whistle-controlled arrow did survive the transition. Good call.

In the comics, Yondu was a founding member of the team in the 1969 comics run. He was much less of a factor in the modern-day run they’ve based the film on, though director James Gunn wanted to find a way to fit in Yondu. In the film, he's reimagined as an alien who visits Earth and is responsible for taking a young Peter Quill (aka Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord) into space, and raises him among the equivalent of a deep-space biker gang.

Check out one of the new pics above, and the other below, and let us know what you think:

Guardians of the Galaxy opens Aug. 1.

(Via USA Today)